Sunday, May 25, 2008

Yarrow is on YouTube!

For years Yarrow has been playing guitar with the Northern Rivers Conservatorium Arts Centre. Not that she plays a lot now, but she's made some great and close friends through the Con. Recently they made an television advert, and Yarrow's in it! See if you can glimpse her two microsecond appearances. You can click on the YouTube picture above to view the advert. Of course, it's best with the sound on!

The url is:

Friday, May 16, 2008

Fruits of the earth

Here is a photo of this week's unexpected harvest of pumpkins. We didn't plant them on purpose - they just decided to grow under the date palm near the pool. After I found Rascal playing football with some of them I decided to harvest the ripe ones rather than let him pulverise the rest of them (I'm such a spoilsport, I know).

The nice thing is that next year there will be another surprise crop growing in the same area. For now though I better go find some good recipes for pumpkin. Anyone got any suggestions?

Then and now: Tess and Yarrow

The top picture shows Yarrow (left, aged 3) and Tess (right, aged 5), not long before we left Amsterdam. We were living in the Galileiplantseon and the photo was taken in the dining room. The photo below shows Tess (left, aged 12) and Yarrow (right, aged 10) as they are now. What hasn't changed are their dark brown eyes, their lovely smiles and their love for each other!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Saturday, May 10, 2008

The Booyong Fettuccini-Sucking Championships

What To Do With Fettuccini Bolognaise? Well, if you're ten and twelve years old respectively, you just *must* take the opportunity to hold ...

The Booyong Fettuccini-Sucking Championships!!

The contestants must each take a strand of cooked fettuccini of equal length. The longer the fettuccini, the better.

The contestants must each hold one centimetre of fettuccini in their mouth and let the rest dangle down their chins.

This is serious. Don't smile. Smiling is not conducive to successful outcomes of the Championships.

An outsider not in the running for the Championships must count down from three and say "Go!" The outsider must attempt not to smile however hard this may seem to be.

At the word Go, the contestants must suck the fettuccini as quickly as possible into their mouth.

Remember: laughing on the part of the participants is catastrophic and not conducive to successful outcomes of the Championships.

Laughing helplessly and falling off one's chair and onto the floor is *particularly* not conducive to successful outcomes of the Championships.

Five rounds are generally sufficient to determine the Great Booyong Fettuccini-Sucking Champion, and to render the rest of the family absolutely feeble with laughter.

PS: Older siblings are of course, permitted to take part. They're generally hopeless at it anyway 'cos they just *lose it* :-)

Tess' recipe for Fettuccini Bolognaise

I believe every self-respecting 12 year old in general western family circumstances ought to be able to cook a healthy family meal. Tess and Yarrow both can; and here is Tess' lovely simple and successful recipe for Fettucini Bolognaise. She researched, developed, typed up, and cooked it all herself. And (big hurrah for Tess) she cleans up afterwards too!!

Fettuccini Bolognese

· Chopping board
· Sharp knife
· Large saucepan
· Large frypan
· Medium bowl
· Measuring cup
· Teaspoon
· Scrap bin

· 1 lb. ground round beef (mince)
· 1 can whole tomatoes
· 1 can tomato sauce
· 2 med. onions
· 5 tsp. minced garlic
· 10 “cup” mushrooms
· 1 tin sweet corn
· Fresh oregano
· Fresh basil
· Fresh thyme
· Fresh ground pepper
· olive oil
· 500g spaghetti or fettuccini
· 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
· Extra virgin olive oil

1. Peel and chop onions, and mushrooms.
2. Put large frypan on burner and heat olive oil on medium high setting. Add onions, garlic and mushrooms.
3. Fry for 5 minutes or until onions turn clear and garlic starts to smell strong. Pour all ingredients into a bowl and reserve for later.
4. Return frypan to heat and add ground beef.
5. Fry until browned and break apart into small clumps.
6. Add tin of sweet corn (drained)
7. Return fried vegetables to the frypan.
8. Add whole tomatoes and chop them up.
9. Add tomato sauce, oregano, basil, thyme and ground pepper.
10. Mix ingredients well.
11. Cover frypan and turn heat down to simmer.
12. Simmer for 30 minutes.
13. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil.
14. Add spaghetti, a little at a time.
15. Stir and add extra virgin olive oil to avoid sticking.
16. Cook for 10 minutes or until just cooked through (no hard white centre).
17. Drain and run cool water through spaghetti.
18. Transfer to a bowl and add a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil and a half cup of grated Parmesan cheese.
19. Mix well.
20. Remove sauce from stove and pour into a bowl.

Friday, May 9, 2008

The real workhorse here

Here she is: our Massey Ferguson TE20 ... More than 50 years old and in fine fettle.

Did you know: A TE20 was the first vehicle ever to be driven to the South Pole, under Sir Edmund Hilary? If you'd like to read about it click on this link:

And while we're on Friends of Ferguson heritage website, have a look at this article:
... Describes my life to a T.

A much later (Feb 2010) PS: for the enthusiast, this Ferguson is a TEA-20, serial no. TE A 474606. It was made in Britain in 1948 and was exported to NSW soon thereafter where it was owned for many years by the Kirklands family of the Booyong, Nashua and Pearce's Creek area. It stayed with that family for many years. doing sterling work in the area. After 2000 it was purchased by Dirk and Tracey of Houghlahan's Creek Rd. Dirk did some amazing restoration work on it. I bought it in 2008.

Promise has freckles

Here's a photo of Moreton's Promise who is now two months old. She's in the cute, kind, cuddly phase of her youth (maybe though she's just a cute, kind, cuddly kinda horse. Who knows? Time will tell). We bred the filly to fulfil a promise to our Anjes who wanted a horse of her own (great choice of name, Anjes!).

For those who would like to know, she's a pure-bred Australian Stock Horse with double Abbey bloodlines. Her pedigree goes back to 1880 (keeping tabs on all those bloodlines is an amazing feat of administrative competence on the part of the ASH Society if you ask me).

I like the way the early morning sun catches the beautiful golden colour of her foal coat (which will change to a much darker liver chestnut in time); and the scattering of freckles on her face.

To do Rascal justice, just after this shot Promise tried to eat the camera, too ... ("Who knows, it might not be poisonous?").

Don't be fooled by his good looks ...

The one heading straight for you is 6 month old Rascal Darius, son of Xerxes the Arab stallion and the brumby mare Duchess. He's coming towards you because he wants to taste your t-shirt, consume the camera, shred your shoelaces and be patted. This week he has:

  • Demolished 2 soccer balls ("Why kick them? Chewing holes in them is *so* much more fun")
  • Fished out the pool toys from the pool: noodles, surfboard, fake crocodile; and bitten chunks out of them ("The crocodile tasted best!")
  • Flung the swim flippers about until they were shredded ("That is *heaps* of fun. Where can I find more?")
  • Shredded a saddlecloth ("Hey look, it's filled with cotton wool. Cute! Let me scatter this all over the stockyard for a fetching effect.")
  • Eaten the front door mat ("Tastes kinda like hay - why waste it by wiping your feet on it? You humans are so silly.")
  • Done a demolition job on the green tree-frog haven (I built it using the broken wheelbarrow and old sacking). The poor frogs were most put out and are now homeless. ("You don't need this roof, do you? Let me remove it for you, and tip the wheelbarrow over. There, now you're free.")
  • Chewed the antenna off my car ("Look, if I pull it, it telescopes outwards. Hmm. How far can I go with it?")
  • Pulled the cutter strings off the whipper-snipper ("Curious pink things, I'm sure they don't belong on a machine.")

Teenage colts: ya gotta love 'em.